|MAHAR and VIBERT|
The Rensselaer County jail
appears to be in somewhat of a state of chaos, or at least an elevated state of
chaos because it’s been in a state of chaos since Gary Gordon ran against
Sheriff Jack Mahar in 2011.
Since that election and
everything that led up to it, the corrections officers have been pretty much
split with half of the COs in Mahar’s camp and half not in his camp.
Here is a rundown of what
happened in somewhat chronological order:
--- Someone taped Gordon, who is an
investigator in the District Attorney’s Office, offering to fix tickets for
friends and/or family members of COS.
--- Former union President Mark
Piche resigned from the job he had for 22 years and the last word was he was facing
charges of tax evasion at his family’s restaurant. His counterpart, union VP and
another ardent and vocal Gordon supporter, Kevin Rogers, is still under
scrutiny for his role in allegations of misappropriating union funds. In other
words spending funds at strip clubs, high priced steak joints and otherwise
using it as their personal checkbook.
--- Nurses working at the jail are
now in trouble for using their access code at Samaritan Hospital to get a look at
the medical records of COs who may or may not have been out of work for a while
and for a while I mean months – at full pay. Obviously, medical records are top
secret and it’s against federal law to access them or disseminate them with no
The sheriff is conducting his
own investigation into the matter and a nursing supervisor and a nurse working
at the jail are in some hot water. The question, of course, is if they acted on
their own accord or if they were just following orders from above. I find it
hard to fathom why the nurses would randomly access health records or what
purpose they would have for doing it. But, anyway, that’s just speculation on
It will also be interesting to
see which CO’s records were accessed and which camp they are in.
--- Master Sgt. Anthony Patricelli
was arrested for calling up another CO and threatening to break his jaw.
--- Then, earlier this week, Ruth
Vibert, who was brought in as the new chief of corrections at the jail not even
a year ago, was unceremoniously fired.
The official word is that she failed
to meet educational requirements after she was hired to oversee some 200 people
but never followed through. Not to be too cynical but that sounds like a
Mahar gushed during an announcement
last March about her hire: “We are thrilled to have her on board and have her
be part of our team.”
She brought years of law
enforcement experience to the job and at the time said: “I’m looking forward to
getting the opportunity to work with all the professionals here, implement the
vision that the sheriff has identified for me during out conversations and just
bring the professionalism and cohesiveness into the corrections side of the
cohesiveness” are not two adjectives I would use to describe the Rensselaer
County jail at this point in time.
Labels: Gordon, Mahar, Piche, Rogers, Vibert